Sheriff’s Message, Week of August 20th
The success we achieved in lowering Lyon County’s crime rate involved placing the right resources with established priorities. Violent acts with weapons, gangs, sex crimes, and drug sales were the priorities given to staff. We took the former Narcotics Unit of two deputies, renamed it Special Investigations Unit (SIU), and increased its staffing to four deputies through realignments. We added a non-sworn crime analyst, built stronger regional relationships with other agencies, and gave them a different aiming point. Instead of focusing on drugs, they focus on felony street crimes since drugs are usually connected.
SIU is on fire as they average approximately two felony arrests each week. They have been recovering stolen and illegal weapons, seeking out and arresting fugitives from justice, conducting sex crime stings, and disrupting drug trafficking throughout the county. They are also providing dedicated investigative services that the LCSO has never been able to provide on a consistent basis, such as business compliance checks. There are times when businesses engage in illegal activities and the business store front is just a cover. Almost all of the received business complaints have been unfounded; however, when a violation is discovered, appropriate action is taken. SIU is one area where we would like a staffing increase because of their achieved successes.
While we are disrupting meth and heroin supplies in the county, there is still too much of it. Drug overdoses related to meth, heroin, and opioids happen all too often. This week, two young men overdosed. One from Dayton died and a Yerington man is in ICU. I wish the marijuana advocates who claimed that when marijuana became legal, everyone would stop using opioids, meth, and heroin and turn to marijuana would be true; unfortunately, we aren’t seeing it.
There was some concern about issuing naloxone to our deputies to counter opioid overdoses. Generally, deputies arrive at the same time as ambulance crews, so the appropriate place for the drug was with paramedics. A decision was made to sign with the Nevada Attorney General’s Opioid Grant to receive naloxone and issue it to our deputies. The real concern was a possibility of a deputy overdose from accidentally touching carfentanyl while searching a car or house. Carfentanyl is 10,000 times more potent than morphine and could produce an instantaneous overdose. We need naloxone in patrol vehicles to counter the overdose instead of waiting for an ambulance. Naloxone will be placed in the detention facility to counter any opioid related overdose as they wait for an ambulance to arrive.
And finally, the LCSO has partnered with the Nevada Donor Network for several years as they help to connect patients struggling with illnesses and injuries with a deceased person who gave a part of themselves as an ultimate act of random kindness. Organ and tissue donations are extremely important. In fact, we have a deputy who was injured on the job, received a tissue donation surgery, and has returned back to work. You can learn more about the program at www.nvdonor.org. You can even enroll on line. I did mine this week.
As always, keep the faith.